Short Answer: Of course not. Women are people, and they are the equal parts to men. They only become a “fitna” or “test/trial” when people exploit their beauty, or when they themselves willingly use their beauty in the wrong context. This is part of the wisdom behind hijab. Men must lower their gaze, too, though, so women can’t be blamed for men falling into sin.
Walaykum Asalam, dear sister. Thank you for sending your question.
We have to say that some people are definitely sending you an incorrect vibe.
So, let’s analyze this issue briefly here.
Are women bad and evil?
Absolutely not! This isn’t the Islamic view, anyway.
It was narrated by Abdullah bin Amr that the Messenger of Allah said:
“This world is but provisions, and there is no provision in this world better than a righteous wife (woman).” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Women are “the counterparts of men,” as the Prophet said. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Allah honored women; we have discussed this on the website repeatedly.
There is an entire chapter in the Qur’an called “The Women”, and another titled after a noble woman “Mary” (peace be upon her).
Allah says about her:
“O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].” (Qur’an 3: 42-43)
Women are also equal to men as worshippers before Allah Almighty.
Exploitation of women on account of their beauty
However, it is a fact that women are more beautiful; Allah honored them with a special beauty.
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return. (Qur’an 3:14)
As a result of this beauty, it is not a hidden fact that women are exploited and abused by those who don’t fear Allah.
You can read tons of research and books on how women are objectified, sexualized, exploited and demeaned in the mainstream media.
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently released a report on the sexualization of women in media and found that “massive exposure to media among youth creates the potential for massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”
Sadly, you can see women’s hips, waists, chests, legs or lips being discussed in the media.
And those identified as celebrities are known for their bodily features, which is utterly demeaning and disgraceful to human dignity.
Women’s beauty is used to sell products and market commodities.
You can read how one of the biggest industries in the world, the unfortunate and utterly disgracing porn industry, is based on exploiting women.
The origin of the word actually means “prostitute” or female slave, and hardly anyone is actively working on stopping this evil humiliation of human beings.
This is the real evil, deluding women and exploiting them in this manner.
Allah created women beautiful, but He asked them to cover their beauty where appropriate, be modest, and not expose their beauty except in the right context.
This is why He ordinated hijab (women covering) and modesty in physical appearance and behavior.
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (Qur’an 33:59)
So what is the Fitna?
Fitna means a trial or a test.
Women are beautiful, and if women don’t have taqwa (God-consciousness that affects their looks and behavior) it becomes a big test for men.
Will they obey God and lower their gaze? Or will they give into their lust and allow their nafs to control their behavior?
Narrated Usama bin Zaid: the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said,
“After me, I have not left any trial more severe to men than women.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]
It’s not a mystery that some women who don’t observe modesty do try to seduce men by their looks, speech or attitude. And some men do fall for that.
Men Are Responsible, Too
But, this isn’t to say that “women are evil,” just that they need to observe Islamic modesty in their dress.
Believing men need to lower their gaze and observe their modesty, as well.
If they do so, there is no problem. But if women are immodest/immoral and men are weak/immoral, then this is the disastrous combo.
We are simply meant to help one another, not destroy one another.
The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy on them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (Qur’an 9:71)
Hope this helps clarify the issue a bit for you.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)